Why Are So Many Brits Saying “I Love You” Before Meeting Offline?

A third of online daters have professed their love without meeting in real life

online romance on dating apps
We build entire careers online these days. Why not relationships?
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Online dating had already become the norm for many modern singles well before the pandemic rendered many aspects of our lives virtual. But while couples have been meeting online for years, COVID-era lockdowns and social-distancing mandates have taken online romance to a new level. From Zoom dates and virtual sex to remote breakups, some couples are building entire relationships online, and some are even falling in love in the process.

A recent survey found a third of online daters in the U.K. have confessed their love to a partner they’ve never even met in real life. The promotional study conducted by Vision Direct surveyed 2,000 British adults, finding that, in addition to the third of love-struck online daters willing to declare their love to a stranger on the internet, nearly half of respondents believe it’s possible to find “love at first sight” online, something we should obviously start referring to as “love at first swipe.”

While falling in love online may seem dubious to those who met their own soulmates back when in-person human interaction was still a thing, it seems these virtual lovers actually aren’t so different from more traditional couples who have actually been in a room together and breathed the same air. According to the survey, the most popular virtual date for remote couples is movie nights, followed by watching TV together. So basically, virtual couples just spend their entire relationship sitting around staring at screens together, which actually sounds a lot like pretty much every other couple I know in real life.

It’s nice to know that even in these challenging times, it’s still possible to find love and immediately settle into the soul-sucking monotony of a monogamous relationship. It may seem like COVID drastically changed modern dating and romance, but whether couples meet in real life, on an app, or build an entire relationship online, they all have one thing in common: a deep passion for sitting around watching TV together. COVID may have changed a lot of things, but it can’t kill romance.

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